Food, Jobs, and Daily Life in Ancient Rome

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A Typical Day

A light breakfast would be consumed before heading to work in a typical Roman day. Early in the afternoon, when work was finished, many Romans would quickly travel to the baths to take a bath and socialize. They would have dinner at around 3 o’clock, which was more of a social gathering than a meal.

Jobs in the Roman era

In order to function, the complex civilization of ancient Rome needed a variety of distinct occupational roles and skills. The majority of the grunt work was done by slaves. The following are some possible occupations for a Roman citizen:

Farmer –
Romans who lived in rural areas tended to be farmers. Wheat, which is used to produce bread, was the most widely grown crop.

Soldier –
The vast Roman Army required soldiers. The army provided the lower class with a means of earning a steady income and receiving some valuable land in exchange for their service. It was an effective technique for the underclass to advance.

Merchant –
All different kinds of merchants purchased and sold goods from all throughout the Empire. They kept the Empire prosperous and the economy humming.

Craftsman –
Craftsmen were vital to the empire, producing everything from fine jewelry and army equipment to plates and pots. Some artisans learned their craft from their fathers and worked in their own shops. Others were slaves who toiled in massive factories that manufactured goods like pots and dishes in vast quantities.

Entertainers –
The Roman populace enjoyed entertainment. In Rome, there were a variety of performers, including musicians, dancers, actors, chariot racers, and gladiators, much like there are now.

Lawyers, Educators, and Engineers
Romans with higher levels of education may work as lawyers, educators, and engineers.

Government –
The Roman administration was very large. From tax collectors and clerks to high-level professions like senators, the government offered a wide variety of employment opportunities. The affluent and influential Senators were. The Senate occasionally had as many as 600 members, and senators held office for life.


The Romans placed a high value on the family. The father, often known as the paterfamilias, served as the family’s head. He had complete authority within the family legally. However, the woman typically had a significant influence over family decisions. She frequently ran the household and handled the finances.


Roman kids entered the classroom at age 7. Rich kids would have a full-time tutor teach them. Other kids attended public schools. They studied things like debating, reading, writing, math, and literature. The majority of guys attended school, but some affluent girls received home tutoring. Poor kids weren’t allowed to attend school.


The majority of Romans ate a modest breakfast and very little throughout the day. Then they would eat a substantial dinner. The main event of the day was dinner, which began at three in the afternoon. They would receive service from the staff while lying on their sides on a couch. They used their hands to eat, and they frequently washed them with water throughout the meal.

Bread would have been the usual fare. dried fruit, cheese, beans, salmon, and veggies. They didn’t consume much meat. The wealthy would have enjoyed a variety of dishes with elaborate sauces. Just as significant as flavor was appearance. To us, some of the items they consumed—such as peacock tongues and mice—would seem really bizarre.


The toga was a lengthy garment comprised of several yards of fabric. White wool or linen togas were the attire of the affluent. Togas had specific colors and markings that were only worn by particular people or on particular occasions. High ranking senators and consuls, for instance, wore togas with purple borders, whilst black togas were typically reserved for mourning occasions. Togas were often only worn in public, not at home, because they were difficult to don and uncomfortable. Later, the toga fell out of favor, and when it was chilly, most people wore a tunic with a cloak.

The tunic resembled a long shirt more than a tunic. The wealthy wore tunics inside the home and below their togas. They served as the poor’s go-to attire.

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